(Redirected from Chico Fernandez (fernach01))
Note: This page is for 1950s infielder Humberto "Chico" Fernandez; for 1960's infielder Lorencito Fernandez, also sometimes called Chico, click here.
Humberto Fernandez Perez
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 170 lb.
- Debut July 14, 1956
- Final Game September 25, 1963
- Born March 2, 1932 in Havana, Cuba
- Died June 11, 2016 in Sunrise, FL, USA
Cuban-born Chico Fernandez was the heir apparent to Pee Wee Reese at shortstop for the Brooklyn Dodgers for several years in the 1950s, but his stay in Brooklyn was limited to 34 games in 1956 in which he hit .227 and poked his first major league home run, a grand slam on August 4th.
Chico was traded by the Dodgers to the Philadelphia Phillies after the 1956 season and became an everyday player for the Phillies in 1957, hitting what would be a career high .262. He was the first colored player in Phillies history, preceding John Kennedy by a few days. Fernandez was a light-skinned Cuban who was called a Negro by newspapers of the time.  and  Ten years and one day after Jackie Robinson's debut, the Phillies were thus the last National League team to integrate (the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers had still not done so over in the American League).
From 1960 until early in 1963, Fernandez was the Tigers' shortstop and in 1962 he hit 20 home runs, which is one more than he had in his previous six years combined. But his new-found power was short-lived and on May 8, 1963, he had the distinction of being traded twice in the same day. He was dealt by Detroit to the Milwaukee Braves, who then swapped him to the New York Mets where he concluded his major league stay that year with a .240 average.
Chico had been signed as an amateur free agent in 1951 by the Dodgers at the age of 19 and in his first six years in the minors (1951-1956) he built his hitting up to a .275 average. His last five years in the game were also spent in the minors and his batting average for that time period came to a .231 mark. All told Chico was in pro baseball for 17 active seasons (1951-1968) and he retired from the active list at the age of 36.
After active retirement Chico went directly to work for Metropolitan Life Insurance as an agent for the next 20 years. Fernandez had retired in Sunrise, Florida where he died on June 11, 2016 as a result of complications following a stroke suffered on May 19th. He is buried in Our Lady Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
- 20-Home Run Seasons: 1 (1962)